How to Sleep Better When You're Stressed & Overworked

I like to think I’m the type of person who handles stress and pressure well — until I get less than eight hours of sleep. Trying to sleep when I'm stressed out can make me become a raging ball of anxiety, crankiness, poor digestion, and low cognitive levels. This, in turn, affects my sleep pattern the next night, and it becomes a never-ending cycle. Thankfully, sleep is a pretty scientific thing, and there are tons of ways to sleep better with anxiety — getting a deeper, more peaceful rest no matter how much is on your mind.

During the course of a great night’s sleep, tons of healing is going on in your body: Your cleansing organs are detoxifying themselves, your brain cells are getting repaired, your skin is rejuvenating itself, your immune system gets a boost, and your mind is clearing out any excess, unneeded information. When you're not sleeping well because of stress, however, these functions are all interrupted, and that’s when you wake up feeling drowsy, sick, and more cloudy-headed than the night before.

Here are a few foolproof ways to hack your sleep schedule and create the most comfortable and soothing resting environment ever. Once applied, you'll know how to sleep better when stressed, and be able to fall into a deep and satisfying sleep when you need it most.

Cradle Your Body With This Full Support Pillow

Queen Rose Full Body Support Pillow, $60, Amazon

As a side-sleeper who tosses and turns a lot during the night, I am a huge fan of this Queen Rose full body support pillow. Not only is it made from 100 percent high-quality cotton, but it cradles your neck, back, and legs in a cloud-like cushion while you sleep. The cover zips off, so it can be washed in the machine, and because it comes in a few different colors and shapes, you can personalize your body pillow to your needs and style. One reviewer says, “I'm in Love, I'm in Love and I Don't Care Who Knows it!” while another comments, “Pregnant or not pregnant would benefit from this. Men, women, children…” Go ahead — it's time to make your bed the comfiest spot in the house.

Rejuvenate Your Mattress With Two Inches Of Cloud-Like Comfort

Twin Sleep Master Memory Foam Topper, $45, Amazon

When it comes to giving your mattress that last little nudge it needs into the realm of heavenly, two inches of extra padding could make all the difference. This memory foam topper rejuvenates your mattress with a supportive, conforming memory foam layer. It fits under any standard sheet or mattress cover, and because it’s durable, breathable, and comes in any size from twin to California king, reviewers are absolutely thrilled. They say that they were floored by how much relief this topper offers, and it’s the best deal around.

Purify Your Air For Better Nighttime Breathing

Crystal Decor Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp , $17, Amazon

This Himalayan salt lamp not only creates a relaxing orange glow in your bedroom at night, but it removes impurities from the air using all-natural negative ion technology. Here’s how it works: The bulb heats up the natural Himalayan salt crystals, which release negative ions into the air. They then bond to positively-charged dust particles and other impurities to purify your air with no hassle, noise, or inconvenience. This one comes in a cool looking metal basket that’ll look great on any bedside table, and because you can adjust how hot and bright the bulb burns, it makes an awesome night light for a relaxing, deep-breathing sleep.

Hack Your Brain With Soothing Nature Sounds

Sound Spa Relaxation Machine, $24, Amazon

White noise or ambient sounds make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep, as even when you’re passed out, your brain is still paying attention to any sudden noises that might mean danger. If you’re able to block them out (ideally with relaxing nature sounds), you’ll sleep much more soundly, and wake up with less stress. This particular sound machine comes with your choice of six relaxing tracks (white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook) as well as an auto-off timer and two power options for either a battery or a wall adaptor. It’s also sleek, small, and lightweight, so it’s great for any bedside table, and some reviewers say they keep this thing running 24 hours a day to create the most relaxing household on the block.

Use The Scent Of Lavender To Relax Your Whole Body

Dr Teals Lavender Epsom Salt, $11, Amazon

According to two separate scientific studies, the soothing scent of lavender makes it much easier to slip into a deep and restful sleep. This specific lavender epsom salt utilizes relaxing lavender essential oils along with magnesium sulfate, which provides the necessary minerals to soothe and ease your muscles during a hot bath. It’s a great before-bed routine to get into because the smell is soft and pleasant, the mixture of nourishing salts and water is great for your skin, and you’ll get out of the bath feeling fully comfortable, drowsy, de-stressed, and ready for bed.

Get A Deep-Tissue Massage Right Before Bed

Spoonk Cotton Pagoda Blue Acupressure Massage Mat, $35, Amazon

I just got myself one of these Spoonk massage mats, and I’m completely loving it. I lay on it nightly right before bed, and because it makes me super relaxed and eases all the tension in my back and neck that accumulates after working at a computer all day, I get an immensely deep and satisfying sleep. It’s made from a thick cotton and eco-foam, and on top are little tiny spikes that stimulate the pressure points and muscles in your back and shoulders, like a deep-tissue massage. Not only does it improve circulation and ease tension, but it’s the best and most durable acupuncture mat on the market right now, and that’s why reviewers are saying things like, “I would recommended it to anyone to try,” and “my favorite porcupine!”

Sleep With The Softest Sheets Ever

Premium Bamboo Silky Soft Bed Sheet, $38, Amazon

Bamboo fabric is overtaking every area of housekeeping, from towels to sponges, as it’s sustainable, anti-bacterial, durable, and so much softer than any other fabric. These premium bamboo silky soft bed sheets are made from 40 percent bamboo-derived rayon, which means they're thick enough to remain strong and durable, but soft and breathable enough to deliver a satisfying, luxurious sleep during any season. They come in 11 different colors in your choice of queen- or king-sized, won’t wrinkle, and can be machine-washed and dried. The set includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases, so you’re all set to enjoy the softest and most comfortable bed you’ve ever slept in.

Stop Dust Mites From Ruining A Restful Sleep

LUCID Premium Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector, $23, Amazon

Apparently, most sleep apnea and nighttime allergies are caused by dust mites, which can severely impact your breathing and therefore the quality of sleep you’re getting. This hypoallergenic mattress protector is a convenient, silent, and lightweight way to stop mites, bacteria, moisture, and dust from taking up residence in your mattress. It’s made from a noiseless and hypoallergenic cotton surface and polyurethane backing, and because it comes in seven different sizes, it’ll fit most any mattress. Reviewers love that it’s breathable, cozy, machine-washable, and really helps to clear up any nasal issues during the night.

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Images: nomao saeki /Unsplash; Amazon (8)